CBC Chat Forum Thread

AuthorTopic: Marsh Harrier roosts at Cley-Salthouse Marshes 2015/16
David & Pat Wileman Marsh Harrier roosts at Cley-Salthouse Marshes 2015/16posted at 13/10/2015 14:21:01

During December 2014 and the early months of 2015 several people were counting Marsh Harriers in and out of roosts on the main Cley reedbed and the reedbed on what was called Pope's Marsh.  It has been decided that something similar would be done this winter. 

As a means of collecting sightings from a variety of people we have opened this thread.  Noel Elms has then kindly volunteered to pull together this data to create a report at the end of the season.

If you watch the harriers either coming into the roosts in the evening or leaving them in the morning then please put your sightings on this thread.

Please ensure that you include the following information for each entry:
1. Date and time of the observations, this could be the period you spent watching and/or time of individual bird movements.
2. Location - both where you were and where the birds were.
3  Direction of arrival of the birds in evening, or leaving in the morning.
4. Where possible age  and sex of birds involved.
5. Any distinguishing features particularly wing tags.
6. Any other information considered relevant.

Your name will be added automatically by the system but if you are reporting on someone else's behalf then include their name.

David & Pat Wileman Earlier sightingsposted at 13/10/2015 14:37:59

7 October am.
2 males + 2 other flew W across northern side of Cley reserve at first light between 07:15 & 07:30, could not be certain whether they had come up from the main reedbed or from further east (Pope's).  Viewed from Daukes Hide.  Adult female (Blondie) was also flying over the reserve but did not leave.

8 October am.
1 bird that appeared all dark in poor light but was noted to have a  'green' tag on each wing, 1 tri-coloured male  (looked dull in light) and 1 dark male all flew W across northern side of Cley reserve quite close together at first light at 07:15. Viewed from hides.  Adult female (Blondie) and 2 other harriers were also flying around over reserve but did not move west. 

Noel Elms Re: Earlier sightingsposted at 13/10/2015 17:14:18
  (Noel Elms) (12377 bytes)   (Noel Elms) (19023 bytes)

After producing reports on the data gathered during counts made in the 2014/2015 winter, I have agreed to do the same for the counts proposed for the coming winter.
I do so in the belief that it is only by having as much information as possible on how wildlife reserves are occupied and used, can effective habitat management policies be devised.

The 2014/2015 reports are accessible via the links to the left of this message.

Noel Elms :Re: Earlier sightingsposted at 13/10/2015 17:41:51

11 October 2015, overlooking Pope's from E Walsey, 1600-1730hrs.

Up to 7 Marsh Harriers apparently preparing to roost on Pope's, all arrived from the west and went down either into Po4a, Po3a or the cleared area immediately north of Watling Water.  Females were in the majority with only a single adult male as far as I could make out.  One adult female was particularly remarkable in that in addition to having pale patagial patches at least the size of Blondie's, the pale under-wing and gorget appeared more extensive.

An adult female which I considered to be Blondie, landed in Po4a and was joined by an adult male but later, both birds returned to the Cley-side of East Bank.

David & Pat Wileman Map of Pope'sposted at 13/10/2015 21:26:17
  (David & Pat Wileman) (250358 bytes)

The attached map produced by Adam and updated to show new names as of August 2015 gives the field numbers often used to identify places on the 'New Lands' (previously known as Pope's Marsh) which everyone may find useful when reporting locations.

David & Pat Wileman 17 October 06:50-07:30posted at 17/10/2015 19:54:24

Viewing from car parked in E Walsey pull-in.
07:10 first bird came up from reedbed and flew E, lost sight of so may have come down near Iron Rd.
07:15 2 birds up circled then flew W
07:18 another 1 up and flew W
07:20 2 birds came up and flew around together and then dropped back down into reedbed
----  until this time the light had not been good enough to age/sex birds ------
07:21 male up and flew off W
07:25 male came in from W (don't know how far W) and dropped into reedbed (this could have been the same male returning but may not have been)
TOTAL: 7 or 8 birds

Left at 07:30 and went to Cley where Blondie was flying around.

Noel Elms Marsh Harrier roost count.posted at 18/10/2015 19:43:47

From E. Walsey, 1500-1740hrs.

First arrival, 1st-w male from W at 1520hrs, down into Po3a. Arrivals over the next 140mins were:-
1615, female.
1630, 1st-w male.
1644,  dark female from E.
1646,  ad. male.
1648, female.
1654, ad. male.
1705, 1st-w male.
1710, female with ginger patagial patches.
1716, dark female with pale crown, met by ad.male and both down into Po2a.
1725, dark female missing P3 in both wings.
1733, female with off-white crown.
1740, dark female.

Unless stated otherwise, all arrivals from the west and went down into Po3a.

Kath & Mick Claydon Late posting: Roost watch 16 Octoberposted at 19/10/2015 20:47:47

Friday 16 October 2015  15.50 to 18.25hrs
Watch from East end Walsey slope.
Observers:  K&M Claydon
Total Marsh Harriers in to Roost  = Min.12.    Adult males 4.  Adult females 6.  Juveniles 2

15.50 As we arrived a classic adult male (M1) and an adult female (F1) with cream crown and throat came in from East across Pope’s Marsh.  Circling over Po3a reeds.
15.55 Both birds dropped down into Po3a main roose site.
16.53 2 juveniles(J1, J2) very dark plumage with strong yellowish-cream heads, plus a dark adult female (F2) with no obvious cream/white, came in together from South, over Walsey, circled for few minutes then dropped into Po3a roost.
17.10 Adult male (M2), normal colouring, in from West, circling over Po4-Po3a reeds.
17.15 The Dark female(F2) came UP from Po3a roost area and perched on small bush Po4a
This Dark Female was soon displaced from perch by a Common Buzzard, the harrier circled, hassled then displaced the C.Buzzard which circled reeds and dropped out of sight at/near the harrier roost.  After few mins this Dark Female went back down into Main Roost to the east of where we last saw the C.Buzzard.
17.21 A normal coloured Adult Male (M3) came in high from West, and dropped into Po3a roost after couple of minutes.
17.28 A very bright, contrasty adult Male (M4) arrived from West, circled and dropped into Po3a roost.
17.42 Adult female(F3) with large cream shoulder patches in from West, dropped quicly into main roost.
[17.54 Common Buzzard came UP from the main roost site and flew east.]
17.56 Another female Marsh Harrier (F4) in from South over Walsey circled briefly then down into main Po3a roost.  She had little pale on head but light now poor so unsure of true markings. 
[18.00 2 Common Buzzards in from Walsey, hunting over Po4/Po4a/Po3a and dropped down north and east of Po3a.  Not seen again for 18 minutes when 1 went SE and the other west SW]
18.04 Adult Female (F5) with little pale on head, arrived high and fast from West, down into roost after few minutes.
18.10 Female-type Marsh Harrier (F6) arrived from West, circled for few minutes then down into main roost.
18.25 We left the area. 

Kath & Mick Claydon Aborted attempt 22 Octoberposted at 22/10/2015 19:24:45

Unable to watch from usual spot, East end of Walsey as tractors working, coming in and out of field by Walsey.  Watched from 15.15hr to 16.35hrs from farm track south of Po1/Po2.  The only Marsh Harrier seen over Pope's was Blondie (good views, almost certainly her) who appeared at 16.14hrs from low over Shooters East, hunting over Po1c/b and Po2a. 
As we could not do the watch in the same way as usual we decided to abandon it for today.

Kath & Mick Claydon Harriers 25 Oct 15 14.35 to 17.08hrsposted at 25/10/2015 19:58:23

25 Oct 15.  14.35hrs to 17.08hrs  Watching from East end Walsey slope.

12 Marsh Harriers into roost.   4 males, 6 females, 1 juvenile, 1 not sexed.

14.38 Female Blondie hunting over Shooters and Watling Water. 
14.40 Very dark bird [U1] came up from Po3a and Blondie came across to circle with it above Po3a.  ?sex/age of the dark bird U1 : very dark head and upperparts, no streaking or mottling and just a small amount of rusty gold on back of head/nape visible through scope as it moved head.  Underside brown but with extensive darker wingtips.  Eyes very obvious thro scope, pale. 
14.41 Blondie went West out of sight and U1 went down into reeds on Po3a.
14.48 Ad Female [F2] in from West high across Po4a, circled Po3a low.
15.00 F2 dropped into NE Po3a. 
15.05 U1 Came up from Po3a and flew to Po4a bushes.
15.12 U1 flew down into reeds NE Po3a close to location of female F2.
15.21 F2 up from NE Po3a and went East beyond Iron Road.
15.25 F2 back to Pope’s, hunting over Po1/1a.
15.26 Tri-coloured ad male [M1] came up from Po3a main roost site (we hadn’t seen it drop in so it must have gone down before 14.35hrs), hunting over Po4 reeds and Wigeon Marsh.
15.28 A second TC male [M2] came from N of Shooters to join M1 over Po4/4a. 
15.59 Another ad female [F3] in very high from West, circled and dropped into Po4 a reeds. 
16.09 TC male probably M1 flew up to hassle two Short-eared Owls, then dropped into main roost site Po3a.
16.13 Another female [F4] came in high from West and quickly dropped into main roost Po3a.
16.15 The dark bird U1 came up from NE Po3a and settled on the Po4a bushes again.
16.23 M1 came in directly from West, circled Po3a.
16.25 M1 dropped into main roost.
16.26 Female [F5] in from West.  2 GREEN WING TAGS.  Cream head+face, some cream markings on “shoulders” around the green tags. 
16.28 Another new TC male [M4] in high from West; male M3 came up to fly around with M4.
16.30 Both males M1 & M4 dropped into main roost Po3a.
16.37 Another adult female [F6] came in high from West and dropped into main roost 16.39hrs.
16.42 A dull male [M5] in from Westand quickly down into main roost.
16.44 Female that could be [F3] in from EAST (might have slipped off eastwards without us seeing her), went quickly down into main roost.
16.48 Probable Juvenile [J1] but light now poor in from West and down into main roost by 16.50.
16.55 Female [F8] in from West, dropped into main roost 16.57hrs.
17.08 We left area.

MINIMUM count, if any doubt whether we are seeing a “new” bird or one that’s already been counted, we do not include it.
Our summaries do not include all details noted on individual features.

Kath & Mick Claydon Re: Harriers 29 Oct 2015 14.28 to 17.00hrsposted at 29/10/2015 19:08:51

29 October  Marsh Harrier watch from east end Walsey slope.  14.28hrs to 17.00hrs 
Warden working on Babcock hide until 15.20hrs, apparently no affect on Marsh Harriers over site.

13 into roost:   7 females, 4 males, 1 Juvenile, 1 unknown

Brief summary of observations:
14.54 Dark female (F1) with very pale head and 3-4 feathers missing from Left wing, hunting over Po1 then dropped down into Po3a.
14.56 Adult male (M1) in from West and quickly dropped into main Po3a roost.
15.00 Adult fem (F2) came up from reeds Po2a/Po3a, very little bronzy colour on crown/nape, no missing feathers, eventually down into roost.
15.27 Adult fem (F3) - “Blondie look-alike” but probably less extensive cream marking on breast and underwing - in from West & at same time another Ad fem (F4) with cream crown came from field South of Walsey.  Both down into main roost Po3a.
15.30 ?Juv (J1) with whole head cream otherwise all dark, in from West and eventually into roost.
16.00 Adult female (F6) with pale cream crown and throat in from North-west and into roost.
16.16 Adult male (M2) in from West and into Po3a eventually in to roost.
16.25 Another ad male (M3) together with ad fem (F8) with pale head in high from West, down to roost.
16.43 Female (M9), probably 2 wingtags but light now low, came in from West and into roost.
16.44 Adult male (M4) in high from West and immediately down to roost.
16.45 Probably female (F9) but light too poor to be sure, came in from West and into roost.

NB:  we struggled to be sure the female with a lot of cream marking was not Blondie.  IShe was very unsettled and took 3 visits before dropping into Po3a roost, twice flying off westwards out of sight.  She is heavily marked but ?not quite enough cream on breast and underwings to be Blondie and because she did eventually roost on Po3a we are assuming it is a different bird.  We will hope for some better views.  Should watch Cley side as well as Pope's.

Kath & Mick Claydon Marsh Harriers 1 Nov 2015 14.30-17.05hrsposted at 01/11/2015 19:26:03

Harrier roost watch from East end of Walsey Slope.  14.30 - 17.05hrs.  Clear, mild 17oC-13oC, almost no wind. 
14* Marsh Harriers into main Po3a roost:  
4 adult males, 7 female-types, 1 tagged fem/juv, 1 poss.juvenile, 1 Uncertain

Summary of observations:
14.35 Female-type (F4) dark bird with several missing feathers on Left wing, some cream markings on upper forewing.  Hunting Pope’s-Iron Rd.  Back and forth to main Po3a roost area numerous times until finally roosted 16.32hrs. 
15.15 Female-type (F1) very dark with only small amount of bronzy/ginger colouring on nape; in good light can see contrasty browns but no cream in plumage.  Arrived from East, back and forth over main Po3a roost, frequently perching on bushes Po3a/Po4a.  Eventually down to roost 16.45hrs.
15.30 Female type (U1) (F..)with cream head, brown shoulders, in to roost.
15.53 Female or Juv (Tag1) in high from West, 2 GREEN WING TAGS - could not read code.  No cream on upperwing, head pale/streaky.
15.56 Adult male (M1) up from main roost area - must have gone down before 14.30 as we did not see it arrive. 
15.30 Female-type (F2) arrived high from SW.  Cream head but no obvious pale shoulder patches.
15.56 Female-type (F3) fairly dull, pale crown, dark or dull throat.  Arrived from West, disturbed 3 others from roost but soon down into roost.
16.09 Ad.male (M2) arrived from West, into roost after 1 minute..
16.27 Ad.male (M3) arrived high from West and dropped quickly into main roost.
16.38 Ad.male (M4) arrived high from West, circled several times then into roost.
16.40 Female-type (F5) in from West and quickly down to roost.  Light fading, no real details obtained on this bird but some cream/pale on head.
16.45 Probable Juv (J1) very plain dark brown with golden-cream head, in from high West.
16.49 Female-type (F6) with a lot of cream on shoulders/head arrives high from West and dropped quickly into roost.  Light too poor for details.
16.52 One (U2) in high and fast from West, circled several times then down into roost.  Too dark for details.

14* seems high.  It's possible were counted twice but our notes suggest a total of 14 birds.

Michael Harcup Re: Marsh Harriers 7th November 15:45 to 16:55.posted at 08/11/2015 11:15:31

Walking to my position above A149 on north side of field next to NFWood so observing Cley Marshes only.Weather fine and mild(16C earlier) SW breeze:
15:48 MH Female missing some primaries on left wing quartering main scrapes area.
15:52 MH same bird flew south beyond NWT visitor centre and lost from view ( did not seem to return).
15:53 Ringtail Hen Harrier over Pats pool area.
15:56 MH female in flight over scrapes area and one MH female in Elder bush -the larger one to n east of Pats pool ( this bird had cream crown and other parts of head and whitish throat/upper breast).
16:00 In viewing position.
16:00 Hen Harrier over marshes and slowly flew west and out of view- PROBABLY DID NOT ROOST ON CLEY MARSHES.
16:08 "Blondie"type left Elder and flew west and joined other MHs circling over Popes Marsh.
Note: Never again saw the other female MH seen at 15:56.
16:26 Female/juv MH over Cley Marshes and flying west and out of sight.
16:35 Female/juv MH over Cley Marshes and at 16:40 flew sw and out of view.
16:49 Female/juv MH flew west over Cley Marshes and out of view.
16:55 Departed - visibility really poor.
Other Raptors : Kestrel hovering over reeds at 16:19 and 16:31.
Pied Wagtails : Initial sighting of 37 going west at 16:21 but this group soon returned and probably with others seen in flight before approx. 60 entered reeds ( 50m north of reserve path and slightly to east of the ? bench)
Activity of PWs continued with birds flying from roost reeds and others dropping in.
16:44 Still some movement of PWs as noted above but birds clearly visible in the reeds despite the poor light.
16:48 A Starling flock suddenly arrived from the west and dropped straight into the reeds a little to the north of the PW roost.
Little Egrets were observed periodically flying singly from the east and heading  west - first LE 16:12 and last LE 16:48.Total LEs 7.    

Michael Harcup Re: Re: Marsh Harriers 8th November 15:45 to 16:45 posted at 08/11/2015 19:55:47

Observation of Blakeney Freshes from Friary Hills.Very overcast with a strong SSW wind but still a mild 14C.
Began observations from the first bench (most westerly).I was clearly too late in arrival as Marsh Harriers were moving east but very distant and I only had bins with me.At the range the birds were it was difficult to tell the area they were moving over but it looked like to the north and south of the Blakeney/Cley Floodbank and the birds seemed to be flying parallel to this or the new R.Glaven cut.Mostly they were flying low:
15:47 4 MH East.
15:53 1 MH East plus 1 following
15:55 1MH East
16:00 1 MH East
16:10 1 MH East
16:21 moved position to the next bench to the east and Coastguards and the Blakeney/Cley floodbank visible from here.Hoped to see any MH moving west but no more MH seen.
Other raptors: 1 Kestrel in tree on F Hills and 1 Tawny Owl hooting continuously from the woods to S East from 16:30 to 16:40.
A few Little Egrets seen flying west but not counted.
SUMMARY: 9 MH seen all moving east.No indication of any roosting in the Freshes reed beds.

Noel Elms Marsh Harrier roost count.posted at 09/11/2015 18:05:42

From E. Walsey, 1515 - 1640hrs.

Maybe due to the unusually high level of interaction involving the minimum of 4 males present or the near gale force SW winds, the harriers seemed very reluctant to settle this evening with never less than 4 birds in the air throughout the observation period. At times, the interaction extended away from the reed beds and over the A149 and frequently involved 'leg dangling' which I'm more familiar with as part of territorial display in the breeding season.

Although observation conditions were not ideal, it was possible to identify 3 tri-coloured adult males of varying brightness and a rather dull sub-adult male along with 6 females including more than one Blondie 'look alike'. At 1630hrs, 10/11 birds were in the air before settling in PO3a and there was no further activity until leaving at 1640hrs.

On checking my notes later, the extent of the pale area on the under-wing and gorget of one of this evening's Blondie 'look alikes' matched that of a female recorded on 11th October.

Kath & Mick Claydon Marsh Harrier roost count. 11 Novposted at 11/11/2015 18:00:03

14.22 - 16.38 hrs.  From East Walsey.
Probably 16 birds into roost.  3 ad males, 1 dull/sub-ad male,  2 Juvs, 10 female-type.
Last bird into roost at 16.30hrs.
Difficult count this evening, lots of coming and going. Often several in air together.  Recognisable individuals: 1 fem with several feathers missing from right wing;  1 fem with a missing primary on right;  2 Blondie types; 1 dark fem with little gold on nape; 1 with green wing-tags;  1 with white wing tags;  3 tri-coloured males;  1 dull s/ad male;  2 juvenile types.  Others were female types with differing markings.

15.32hrs.  Juvenile Hen harrier came from south onto Po3, was hassled by 2 marsh harriers, then continued westwards out of our view.

David & Pat Wileman Not a full roost count - 30 Nov amposted at 30/11/2015 20:16:38

Noted from Daukes Hide during WeBS 07:30-09:00
07:35 -  2 W
07:37 -  2 in from E and dropped into Bull Marsh - not seen again so probably continued W
07:40 - 1 in from E and dropped down between Simmond's & North
07:42 - fem W
08:35 - male W
later - fem over scrapes flushed everything

Kath & Mick Claydon FRIDAY 11 December 2015posted at 12/12/2015 10:51:39

Watched Pope's from E end Walsey.  13.35 to 16.20 hrs.
Minimum 13 harriers into roost included 4 adult males.  No tagged birds seen but last three birds arrived in poor light so could have been missed.
First harrier arrived 13.47hrs.  Last one down into roost 16.10hrs.

Kath & Mick Claydon Wed 16 DECEMBER 2015posted at 16/12/2015 17:51:41

Watched Pope’s Marsh roost from east side Walsey slope.  14.00-16.15hrs.  14oC.  Wind moderate WSW.  Cloud cover 9/10.
Total 16 birds in to roost, including 2 adult males + 1 very dull-coloured male, and 2 green wing-tagged birds (unable to read codes).
Most birds arrived from the West but 4 came in from East, 1 from South and 1 from SE.

14.00hrs  Dark female (#1) already on site when we arrived - perching on posts and bushes.
14.14hrs  Juv-type (#2), all dark with golden head, arrived from West and immediately down into main roost site.
14.49hrs  Another juv-type (#3) all dark with golden head, in from West, hunting over Watling-Po1 before returning to roost site Po3a.
14.52hrs  MH (#4) in from South, 2 green wing-tags (couldn’t read code), dropped into main roost area.
14.58hrs  MH(#5) in very high from East.
15.14hrs  Female (#6) with pale head in from West.
15.17hrs  Female (#7) with left leg dangling/protruding sideways (saw this bird here on 11th December), in from East.
15.20hrs  Female (#8) with 1-2 feathers missing from Left wing, arrived from West.
15.22hrs  Male (#9) with dull markings, grey not constrasting much, arrived from West.
15.23hrs  Female (#10) “Blondie look-alike” in from South East.
15.30hrs  Female (#11) in from West.
15.40hrs  Another green wing-tagged bird (#12) in from East - couldn't read code.
15.45hrs  Female (#13) in from West.
15.48hrs  Adult male (#14) in from West.
15.52hrs  One (#15) in from West.
16.05hrs  Adult male (#16) East and immediate down into roost.

David & Pat Wileman Wed 16 DECEMBER 2015 morningposted at 16/12/2015 20:12:32

Mild (12C) but rain until c.09:00.
Pat watched from E Walsey 07:30-08:20.  David was in Bishop's Hide.

First birds seen from Walsey were 5 up out of reedbed at 07:42, they did a quick fly round then flew W. It was still too dark to get any details on them.  No other Harriers were seen.

From Bishop's David saw:
07:45  Blondie came up out of Cley reedbed when two others flew W (presumably 2 of the 5 from Popes),. 
08:00  A wing tagged female, which didn't look like FX, went W over reed bed then over W bank at 08:20. 
08:35  Dark male + another female (not Blondie) went W
08:45 cream crown no light on wings W

It looks like some birds are either roosting in the Cley reedbed or in the Pope's reedbed further W than can be seen from E Walsey.

David & Pat Wileman Sunday 20th - morningposted at 20/12/2015 21:32:42

14 West between 07:40 & 08:10 viewed from Daukes Hide plus Blondie and another female that remained around reserve.

Kath & Mick Claydon Monday 21st Dec 2015posted at 21/12/2015 15:59:31

Two female Marsh Harriers hunting over Cley around mid-day.  One was Blondie, the other was a look-alike with upper parts similar to Blondie but she lacked the pale underwing markings and did not have the cream breast band.

Kath & Mick Claydon Monday 28th Dec 2015posted at 28/12/2015 17:41:46

28 December 2015.  Watched Pope’s marsh from east Walsey slope 13.40-16.30hrs.  Wind moderately strong SSE,  12->11oC, Cloud cover 8/10.
13 harriers in to roost.  4 adult males, 1 young or dull/dark male, 7 females, 1 ?  All (except the 15.17hrs bird) in directly from West.
No wing-tagged birds seen, no “missing feathers”, no “dangling leg”, no blondie look-alikes.

Although our first sighting was at 14.42hrs (a bright adult male in from West), a very dull male came up from Po3a roost site at 15.17hrs - this bird had been in the reed bed since before 13.40hrs.
Last one down into roost at 16.18hrs.

Noel Elms Marsh Harrier roost count, 29 December 2015.posted at 29/12/2015 18:24:52

From East Walsey, 1320-1635hrs. (joint effort with K&MC).

12 harriers in to roost - 6 males (4 tri-coloured though not particularly 'bright', 2 more obviously sub-adult) and 6 females.

First arrival, adult female with prominent custard-yellow patagial patches from W at 1430hrs. almost simultaneously with a sub-adult male from E. After high-circling by both birds, the female disappeared from view inland leaving the sub-adult male to drift slowly toward the East Bank and out of sight. A sub-adult male arriving from W at 1515hrs and landing briefly in Po4a before being joined by a second sub-adult male also arriving from W, was considered to be the bird seen previously drifting toward the East Bank.

The first bird to go down into the Po3a roost site was a female at 1530hrs. followed over the next 55mins. by 6 males and a further 5 females. As yesterday's observations -  no wing-tagged birds seen, none obviously 'missing feathers' and no Blondie look- alikes.

Kath & Mick Claydon Marsh Harrier Roost 4 January 2016posted at 04/01/2016 18:05:04

No marsh harriers into the Pope's roost this evening.

Noel Elms Marsh Harrier Roost, 6 January 2016.posted at 06/01/2016 17:50:35

Overlooking Pope's from E. Walsey,  1420-1630.

8 birds into the roost this evening, 3 males and 5 females.

First arrival at 1500 -  bright, tri-coloured male from E which immediately perched in a low bush on the Po3a/Po4a boundary and remained there throughout the observation period leaving only to interact with in-coming females. This interaction consisted of the male flying below the female, inverting and 'talon grappling' with the female.

Two females with green wing-tags, one adult with tags contrasting with the pale patagial patches and the other a 1st-winter bird. As so often the case, the black characters not seen well enough to read clearly. Puzzling observation of the younger tagged female carrying a single reed stem before finally settling in the roost. One female noted to be missing 2-3 inner primaries on the left.

Last arrival at 1625, a dark female.

Kath & Mick Claydon 8 January 2016.posted at 08/01/2016 18:42:01

Watch from east Walsey slope 13.50 - 16.40hrs. 

13 MH into the roost this evening.  4 TC Ad males, 1 dull Ad male, 1 ?young male, 4 Ad females, 3 not sexed (came in when almost dark). 

1 of the females with small patagial patches was wing-tagged (at least, one green tag was visible on left wing).  Another female was a Blondie lookalike with 1 tail feather missing (right side).  Other 2 females indistinct markings except head cream.  No sign of the "dark female". 

1 Ad male was very bright and very silvery-looking tail.

The first bird into roost was at 14.13h.  Last one in at 16.37h.

Kath & Mick Claydon Wed 13 Jan 2016 Marsh Harrier roostposted at 14/01/2016 15:53:32

Belated report for Wednesday 13 January 2016-01-14.  Marsh Harrier roost watched from east end Walsey slope 13.30 to 16.45. 

15 Marsh Harriers roosted.   3 wing-tagged.
5 MALES:  4 adult TC,  1 s/ad, 
7 FEMALES:  1 dark female,  6 cream-headed  one of which ( cream patagial patches) with GREEN WING TAG on LEFT wing only and another (dark bird, cream head) with two GREEN WING TAGS; 
2 prob females (poor light).
1 ?first year with two GREEN WING TAGS. 

First bird down into roost at 15.20.  Last bird in 16.23.

One of the females (small patagial patches, no wing tags) that went down into roost at 15.58 flew up from the roost at 16.30. Moments later could see she was carrying a long reed stem, she circled low over roost area a few times then dropped back into the roost again.

Kath & Mick Claydon Sat 16 Jan 2016 Marsh Harrier roostposted at 16/01/2016 18:30:46

Saturday 16 January 2016.  HARRIER ROOST watch over Pope’s marsh from east Walsey slope.  15.35-16.50h.  Area still quite flooded but levels dropped since this morning

13 birds roosted.  They were on Po3a but further NW from the usual area.   Behaviour slightly different from what we are used to seeing - all birds arrived high (usually only a few do this) and most circled the reeds at height for several minutes before dropping. 

First birds down to roost were three individuals at 15.54h -  they had  arrived together from west at 15.46h and spent about 7-8 minutes circling high over the reedbed. 

Last bird settling at roost was at 16.30h.

Difficult to determine age/sex today due to poor light, birds arriving in 2-3s and lots of movement as they inspected the reedbed.   Included 3 adult TC males (one of which “silver-tailed”),  1 s/a male, 1 female with two green wing tags, 1 female with leg sticking out sideways (as seen previously), 1 female with large cream patagial patches/head and neck (Blondie lookalike), 1 female with small cream patagial patches.  

David & Pat Wileman Re: Sat 16 Jan 2016 Marsh Harrier's on Cleyposted at 16/01/2016 20:22:05

At 16:00 Blondie and her mate (dark male) were feeding on an unidentified duck on the grass between Pat's Pool & Simmond's Scrape.  They were still there at 16:30 but not seen after that.  I didn't see them fly off.

Kath & Mick Claydon Thurs 21 Jan 2016 CLEY watchposted at 22/01/2016 11:44:18

Watched Cley reedbed from East Bank car park from 15.05 to 16.55h.

As far as we could tell, only 2 marsh harriers roosted there, Blondie and a dark male.  Blondie went down into reeds to NE of Bishop's hide at 16.26h.  The male was down in the reeds towards N end of E.Bank from 16.08h then at 16.44h he flew towards Pat's Pool and went down into reeds a little NE of where Blondie was roosting.

We counted 10 MH going over East Bank which probably all roosted on Pope's:

3 Adult TC males (one very bright bird)
1 ?S/a male
5 Females
+ 1 not sexed.

Noel Elms Roost count, 24.1.2016.posted at 24/01/2016 20:28:18
Not so clean male. Black edging into grey panels. (Tom Whiley) (69728 bytes) Dark female with whitest crown down to roost. (Tom Whiley) (67947 bytes) Bright tri-coloured males down. (Tom Whiley) (67882 bytes)

Overlooking Pope's from E. Walsey - 1410-1655hrs.

A minimum of 5 males, 4 females and 2 non-sexed birds at the roost this evening. The inter-action resulting from the presence of the 5 males made it difficult to eliminate the possibility of either counting some individuals more than once or missing new arrivals.

At least 3 tri-coloured adult males one of whom fitted the description of the bird other observers have described, in a different light, as 'silvery'. 2 sub-adult males one clearly a 1st-w. One adult female a Blondie 'look-alike' but without such a broad, pale breast band. Another female, possibly a 1st-w  with a strikingly pale crown and another possible 1st-w female with a custard-yellow crown.

First to arrive,  a 1st-w male high from the W at 1425 which was met by a previously unseen adult male and a dark female rising from the reeds in Po3a to meet the new arrival.  Last arrival, a sub-adult male from the W at 1635.

No obvious wing-tagged birds, all arrivals from the W and as reported in recent counts, the area of reed bed chosen for the roost site this evening was towards the NW corner of Po3a. 

Kath & Mick Claydon Marsh Harrier Roost 1 February 2016posted at 01/02/2016 19:38:09

1 February 2016.  Marsh harrier watch from east Walsey Slope.  14.30 - 17.30hrs.
Strong wind WSW.  14-12oC.  Cloud cover 8/10 variable.

14 birds roosted. 
Females 6 (one with Green wing tag on Right and possibly also on Left.  Another bird with one inner primary missing from Rt wing)
Adult TC males 5 (one of which “bright silvery tail”)
S/A male 2 (one plain dull head and upper parts with brownish tail but male-like underwings.  Other bird very slender, hint of greyish on upper wing, brownish upper tail, pale head and throat.)
Not sexed 1 (some primaries missing from both wings)

First bird (fem) arrived at 15.25 and quickly dropped into roost but at 15.40 an adult TC male came up from roost site, circled for a while and dropped back into roost - it must have been in the roost before we arrived at 14.30.

Last bird dropped into roost at 16.58hrs.

A lot of interactions this afternoon: male/male, male/female, female/female.  One female (legs down) appeared to drop down onto the back of an adult male (both in flight) and they tumbled together down into reeds.

Kath & Mick Claydon Marsh Harrier Roost Thursday 4 February 2016posted at 05/02/2016 15:24:52

Marsh harrier watch by MC+Dave Bridges from east Walsey Slope.  15.45-17.35hrs.
Minimum 12 roosted, including at least 5 adult males. 
1 female possibly tagged.  All birds arrived from West today.

Plus 2 bitterns seen!

Kath & Mick Claydon Marsh Harrier Roost. 10 February 2015posted at 10/02/2016 18:39:21

10 February 2016.  Marsh Harrier roost watch from East Walsey slope 15.15hrs to 17.30hrs.  Light W wind.  8C.  Cloud cover 8-2/10.

Just 7 birds into roost. 
Only 1 ad. tri-colour male
1 dark ?s/a male with one inner primary missing from Left.
4 females, one with Green Tag on Left and another bird with missing inner primary on Right; 
1 not sexed ?fem or young male.
First bird (ad male) arrived 15.58h.  Last one 17.15h.
Different behaviour from recent observations.  The ad male vigorously pursued arriving birds - except the first 2 females to arrive, although later they were also harassed.  He twice “escorted” the ?s/a male well away from the roost area and when it returned for the third time, there was a lot of calling, grappling and leg-dangling.   What appeared to be “Blondie” came in low from the East and was quickly pushed off Westwards towards East Bank by this male.  After each pursuit, the ad.male returned to the same fencepost on West side of Po3a.  Eventually he roosted where 5 others were settled - the ?s/a male roosted a little further NW.

Kath & Mick Claydon Marsh Harrier Roost. 24 February 2015posted at 24/02/2016 21:20:32

24 February 2016.  Marsh Harrier Watch Pope’s Marsh from E.end of Walsey slope 16.38hrs-17.50hrs.

12 birds in to roost.  3 Ad TC males;  6 fem (incl one Blondie look-alike, one with tatty Left wing and one with some primaries missing from Right wing);  1 dark bird possibly S/A male;  2 not sexed.  No tags noticed.

First bird we saw arrived at 16.49hrs (a dark bird, no obvious pale areas, ?S/A male?) but an adult TC male shot up from Po3a to “escort” the incoming bird eastwards towards Iron Road.  After couple of minutes they both drifted back to Po3a and the dark bird dropped down at NE Po3a and ad male to west side Po3a.

Last bird to settle was 17.42hrs.

5 birds arrived together from West at 17.18hrs.

Interesting behaviour:  17.30hrs one of the females came up from W side Po3a carrying a small prey item.  5 other harriers were flying around her and the prey was passed to an adult male.  Lots of milling around and calling by the 6 birds.  Shortly afterwards, the male dropped the prey and a female caught it - don’t know if it was the same female.  All birds circling around for a while then the one carrying prey dropped down out of sight, followed by 2 other females.  Male went and settled on post on West edge of Po3a.  Lost track of the other two birds.

Kath & Mick Claydon MH roost 7 March 2016posted at 07/03/2016 19:10:02

7 March 2016.  Marsh Harrier watch from east Walsey slope 16.30 to 18.15h. 

15 birds in to roost. 
9 FEMALES incl 2 with extensive pale patagial patches + one with tatty Left wing (?same as seen 24 Feb) and another with inner primary missing from both wings
1 UNIDENTIFIED/?YOUNG MALE judging by shape and size

No tags seen.

First bird seen to arrive was an adult male at 16.50h but at 17.01h an ad TC male came up from Po3a reedbed to meet and incoming female.

Last bird to settle in roost was at 17.56h.

Kath & Mick Claydon Marsh Harrier Roost 16 March 2016posted at 16/03/2016 22:10:22

16 March 2016.  Marsh Harrier Roost watch from east Walsey Slope 16.35 - 18.35hrs

9 birds roosted:

3 Adult TC males (2 bright TC birds, 1 less bright but obviously TC)
1 Sub-adult male (dull with little contrast between brown and grey on upper wings)
5 Females (one dark plain bird with barely visible small pale crown patch; one with cream head and no patagial patches; three with cream head but with different sized patagial patches)

No wing tags seen.  No missing feathers. 

16.39hr first bird seen was one of the bright adult TC males that came up from Po3a (i.e. had been there since before we arrived). 

17.15hr  dark female came up from Po3a (she, too, must have been there since before we arrived).

17.29hr first incoming bird, from west.

18.26hr Last birds settled in roost.

The dark plain female escorted the first incoming female across Pope’s and beyond Iron Road.  That incoming female didn’t return to the roost until 36mins later.  

One of the two bright males seemed to favour Po4a reeds, frequently flying over Po3a but dropping into Po4 reeds on several occasions, although he eventually roosted in the main reedbed of Po3a.

The two bright TC males spent several minutes harassing the less bright TC male.

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